Prize winner has new view on the world

By Sam Hurley

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Robbie Love says Project K has changed his life for the better.
Robbie Love says Project K has changed his life for the better.

An inspiring Havelock North student received a prestigious award at the 2013 Foundation for Youth Development (FYD) Excellence Awards.

Robbie Love, 18, walked away with the Sir Edmund Hillary Youth Achievement Award (awarded to a Project K alumni), for demonstrating an exceptional attitude and not letting Asperger Syndrome stop him from achieving remarkable success. The awards were presented at Government House in Auckland on Wednesday night.

Project K is a 14-month programme for selected year 10 students aimed at building their self-efficacy and maximising their potential.

The Havelock North High School student was thrilled to receive the award and explained how much Project K changed his life.

"I am able to achieve things that I once never thought I would be able to achieve," said Robbie. "Project K has helped me view the world differently by presenting opportunities I would not have known about otherwise. My perspective of life has grown and I'm hopeful about what life can offer me as well as recognising that my contribution is important to others."

Foundation CEO Marion Short said many of the winners have made significant changes to their outlook and their lives.

"Our Project K graduates and alumni, like Robbie, who were recognised at the awards have been on a life-changing and challenging journey and we're so proud of their achievements," said Ms Short.

"All of the winners are fantastic advocates for FYD and the difference it can make it to the lives of young Kiwis."

The awards were opened by the Governor-General, Sir Jerry Mateparae.

Special guests included Minister for Courts Chester Borrows, FYD co-founders Graeme Dingle and Jo-anne Wilkinson, Sarah Hillary, and Dame Catherine Tizard.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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